Better East Texas: Oversight key to accountability at animal she - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: Oversight key to accountability at animal shelter

(KLTV) -

Recently, our news team has delivered several stories in the continuing saga of the Klein Animal Shelter in Jacksonville.

A 6-month investigation by law enforcement confirmed accusations and the director of the shelter was arrested assaulting a former employee, illegal euthanasia and animal cruelty. The City of Tyler has been contracting with the shelter for several years and animal control staff had been making trips to the shelter several times a week to deliver animals.

But now it appears that rules and policies were ignored and laws were broken on how animals were processed, handled and kept and some were illegally put to death. It is easy to point fingers at the alleged perpetrator of the crime but this is also a message to municipalities that contract out with businesses that they rarely inspect or really know little about. City councils and county governments cannot blindly do business without some amount of inspection and performance accountability.

Now, I am not suggesting that any officials turned a blind eye or were negligent in this case but it is probably safe to say that conditions at the shelter did not deteriorate overnight – they were probably in this alleged criminal state for a while and it is quite possible that a more thorough inspection process could have prevented some of the crimes that are thought to have occurred.

It can't be left solely up to the state and their annual inspection. In this day, city and county governments cannot give blind trust – they owe that to the public – and a more watchful eye will make this a Better East Texas.

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